DA and IFP coali­tion is tee­ter­ing

DA will ab­stain from vote of no-con­fi­dence against IFP mayor

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - ZI­MASA MATI­WANE

THE FU­TURE of the DA/ IFP coali­tions hangs in the bal­ance fol­low­ing a fall­out be­tween the two par­ties in En­du­meni Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, KwaZulu-Na­tal.

“The DA can’t com­pro­mise on the prin­ci­ple of clean gov­er­nance just be­cause we want to save coali­tions. The DA will never be in power for the sake of be­ing in power,” said DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango.

This fol­lows a mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence tabled by the ANC against the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s IFP mayor, Si­bon­iso Mbatha, fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion. The DA in­di­cated it will ab­stain from vot­ing on this mat­ter.

The par­ties com­pleted a co-op­er­a­tion agree­ment last year, which was ex­pected to con­tinue through to the 2019 elec­tions. The DA and IFP co-op­er­ate in eight mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince.

KZN IFP leader Blessed Gwala dis­missed the cor­rup­tion claims, say­ing the DA had no rea­son to ab­stain from the no-con­fi­dence vote as the mayor was cleared in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“I am warn­ing the DA. If they con­tinue to frus­trate us in sup­port of the ANC to am­bush the IFP, they must know that the agree­ment of co-op­er­a­tion we have with them will suf­fer na­tion­ally,” Gwala said.

The mo­tion of no con­fi­dence raised by the ANC al­leges that:

Firstly, Mbatha made fraud­u­lent claims in ex­cess of R700 000, de­signed to de­ceive and de­fraud the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, when he claimed for an unau­tho­rised trip us­ing forged doc­u­ments.

Sec­ondly, he falsely cre­ated doc­u­ments to col­lect dona­tions of up to R10 000 for a can­cer as­so­ci­a­tion, for a trip to Eng­land that al­legedly never hap­pened.

In the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence pa­pers, the ANC re­solved that Mbatha be re­moved as mayor, al­leg­ing that his ac­tions con­tained el­e­ments of “in­tent to de­fraud”.

But Gwala claimed the mayor had been vin­di­cated in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, say­ing the IFP had not been given fur­ther ev­i­dence to in­ves­ti­gate.

“The mayor was ac­cused of steal­ing and we asked the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ac­counts (Scopa) to in­ves­ti­gate – only to find that the al­le­ga­tions were lies,” he said.

Gwala blamed a dis­grun­tled IFP mem­ber, who he said was be­ing used by the ANC to spread lies about the mayor. How­ever, Mncwango ac­cused the IFP of re­fus­ing to ta­ble the re­port in coun­cil. He said the Speaker had been sit­ting on the re­port for two months with­out tabling it.

“The IFP ex­pects the DA to sup­port it, but these are strong al­le­ga­tions. The mat­ter is not whether the mayor is guilty or not.

“The re­port must be tabled be­fore coun­cil with rec­om­men­da­tions based on find­ings,” Mncwango ex­plained.

He added that the DA would not cave in to threats of desta­bil­is­ing coali­tions.

“They ex­pect us to go to coun­cil and sup­port them, but on prin­ci­ple we can’t be fight­ing cor­rup­tion in other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and blindly sup­port the IFP be­cause they are threat­en­ing to pull out from other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties,” said Mncwango.

The mayor was ac­cused of steal­ing

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